No. 5 Kahuku pulls away to thump No. 10 Kapolei
Kahuku's Mason Paulo hauls in a 19-yard TD pass in the fourth quarter to help the Red Raiders pull away. Leighland Tagawa | SL
KAHUKU — No. 5 Kahuku rallied from two first half deficits to breeze by No. 10 Kapolei, 33-13, in an Oahu Interscholastic Association Open Division regular season finale for both teams at Carleton E. Weimer Field Friday night.
The Red Raiders win their second-consecutive game to improve to 3-2 in the OIA standings, 6-3 overall. Kahuku clinches the third seed in the upcoming playoffs and looks to avenge a 28-27 loss to Campbell back on Oct. 6.
The Hurricanes (3-7 overall) dropped to 1-4 in the OIA standings and Waianae's 34-7 loss to the Sabers on the same night resulted a three-way tie with Farrington for the final playoff spot.
Robbie Sauvao threw for 204 passing yards, two touchdowns and two interceptions and Duke Heffernan rushed for a pair of touchdowns.
Following Landan Shove's interception, Kapolei took an early lead six plays later as Christian Rapis connected with Elijah Badoyen for a 52-yard touchdown.
Rapis finished with 192 passing yards, but was picked off three times. DeZhaun Stribling finished with a game-high eight receptions for 79 yards and Badoyen finished with four catches for 66 yards.
Kahuku answered back to tie the game at 7 with a 10-play drive that resulted in Heffernan taking the direct snap and rushing in for a 3-yard touchdown and followed up by kicking the PAT.
Dustin Lino-Adkins recovered the muffed punt in Kahuku territory and the Hurricanes came away with three points after Micah Fonoti made a 33-yard field goal for a 10-7 lead.
The Red Raiders responded with a five-play drive as Sauvao threw a 30-yard touchdown to Kainoa Crismon to reclaim the lead, 14-10.
On Kapolei's next possession, Ilaisa Fotu sacked and knocked the ball out of Rapis' hand and Kenai Liua recovered it for Kahuku. The Red Raiders came away empty-handed after turning it over on downs, but Joseph Taufa intercepted Rapis on the next play to return it 25 yards to the end zone and Heffernan's kick hit the uprights as Kahuku led 20-10.
Fonoti was 2 for 3 for field goals on the night. He had a 35-yarder blocked by Tausili Fiatoa, but converted a 25-yard field goal early in the fourth as the Hurricanes trailed by a score, 20-13 but could not get any closer.
Sauvao threw his second touchdown of the night to Mason Paulo for 19 yards and Heffernan added a 2-yard rushing score late in the fourth quarter to help the Red Raiders put the game out of reach.
Shove and Peni Naulu each recorded interceptions and Lino-Adkins and Samson Faleafine each had fumble recoveries for the Hurricanes.
Tevita Faleta had a pair of interceptions and Ilaisa Fotu had a sack and forced fumble to help lead the Red Raider defense.
A moment of silence was held prior to the start of the game to honor the late Tommy Heffernan Sr., long-time coach and mentor to many in the Kahuku community.